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Nicole Curtis

How HGTV Star Nicole Curtis Depends on Independents

HGTV star Nicole Curtis was at the recent Ace Hardware Spring 2017 Convention & Exhibits to promote products, but she also took time to tell Hardware Retailing about the independent retailers she relies on.

HGTV star Nicole Curtis demonstrates how to use a Bernzomatic torch at the Ace Hardware Spring 2017 Convention & Exhibits.

Curtis’ TV show “Rehab Addict” details her efforts to renovate historic homes. She demonstrated how to use Bernzomatic torches at the Ace show in Atlanta.

Curtis works in Detroit, and tries to buy as many supplies as she can from locally owned businesses. For example, she depends on independently owned Brooks Lumber for the building products she uses to rehab old homes.

“The staff is so knowledgeable,” Curtis says.

But other independent retailers have shaped how she does her day-to-day remodeling projects. For instance, she visited an Ace Hardware store in the Ferndale, Michigan, area looking for a way to match new wood stain colors with the aged patina of antique wood.

She learned from an employee at the Ace store that she could mix different stains to achieve the look she wanted.

“That’s what they taught me to do,” she says.

Curtis also discovered she could go back to the store as many times as she needed to ask for advice while she figured out her staining process.

She regularly turns to independent home improvement stores for screen repairs and other specialized services for her home rehab projects, she says.

“We repair everything,” she says. “That’s also where I’ve learned to cut glass and glaze windows.”

Curtis gets to know managers and owners of independent home improvement stores and appreciates that the independents can modify their product offerings based on customer feedback. Curtis believes independent businesses are important to the vitality of communities and offer much that big boxes and Amazon can’t.

“The owner is passionate about what’s in their store,” she says. “I’ve never really talked to a small shop owner who doesn’t take the time to answer my questions.”

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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